Pawel Althamer: Nomo from Mars, 2011 Pawel Althamer

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Pawel Althamer (b.1967) originally trained as a sculptor, but today he combines his object-making with pioneering work in social, collaborative and participatory art. For the ongoing project Common Task, begun in 2008, he enlists his Warsaw neighbours, whom he outfits in golden space suits, to travel with him to distant lands. Through the fantasy of space travel, he reframes mundane reality as a zone of mystery and possibility, expanding the act of art-making to encompass the activities of the entire group.

The statuette Nomo From Mars is based on the life-size sculpture Nomo, which Althamer created in 2009 to commemorate a Common Task expedition to Mali in Africa. The brass figurine, with its flaking polychrome finish, evokes a relic from another place and time, just as the shape of its helmet recalls the masks of the Dogon tribe, whose village the Common Task group visited on their African journey.


Brass with polychrome finish
Size: 145 × 36 × 31 mm (5 3/4 × 1 1/4 × 1 3/8 inches)
Box: 56 × 83 × 188 mm (2 1/4 x 3 1/4 x 7 3/8 inches)
Cast in 2011 in an edition of 50 plus 3 artist’s proofs
All copies signed and numbered by Pawel Althamer Specifications:

  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 160 pp
  • Illustrations: 130 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714864037c

Roman Kurzmeyer is a curator and art historian based in Switzerland. His books include Harald Szeemann: With Through Because Towards Despite (2007), a major monograph on the influential Swiss curator.

Adam Szymczyk is the Director of Kunsthalle Basel. Formerly Curator at the Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, he was co-curator of the 5th Berlin Biennial (2008) and one of the ten curators of Phaidon’s Creamier (2010).

Suzanne Cotter is Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Curator, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project. From 2002 to 2010 she was Senior Curator at Modern Art Oxford, where her exhibitions included 'Mike Nelson: Triple Bluff Canyon' (2004), 'Out of Beirut' (2006) and 'Pawel Althamer: Common Task' (2009). In 2011 she co-curated the Sharjah Biennial.